30 Bananas a Day!

Hey guys,

I have a problem: I'm a very anxious person by nature... I always have tons of thoughts and fears on my mind and it shows a lot on the outside: I always look nervous, i sometimes have acne, i scratch my head, bite my nails and sometimes I hold my breath without even noticing it!!

I'm afraid of death, afraid of being judged by people, afraid that someones get hurt in my family, afraid that my boyfriend leaves me, afraid of getting sick, afraid of not finding a job etc etc... Ok, now you will say "IT'S NORMAL, everyone on Earth has this problem" but I don't think that it reaches this level for everyone.

For me it has become very problematic since it stops me from doing a lot of things. I've tried a lot of things this past 5 years: changing my diet, meditating, seeing a psychologist etc... but I can't get rid of this f****** anxiety :(

Any advices/ idea? Do you have the same problem?

Thanks in advance!

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You're right!! It's just that I can't remember having already been a relaxed person... Even as a very young child, I was very nervous all the time.

+ 1

  • Volunteer with kids
  • Surround yourself with people who are more confident and calm that yourself. Observe how they handle situations
  • Take a self defense class
  • Get certified in something...scuba, electrical engineering, CPR, whatever....being a part of a group and hitting goals is good for confidence
  • Learn strategies to cope with stress
  • Take better care of yourself. Find someone to help you with hygiene, sleep, cleaning your clothes
  • Learn breathing techniques to deal with stressful situations
  • Find a mentor to help you with school/career etc
  • The list goes on...

THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF LITTLE THINGS YOU NEED TO DO. Answer some more of the questions I posted earlier and I'll continue to tell you exactly what you need to do.

FOCUS ON THE LITTLE STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE AND MONITOR YOUR PROGRESS. THAT IS HOW YOU GET CONTROL OVER YOUR LIFE. AND WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT ISOLATE YOURSELF. START EXPOSING YOURSELF TO SITUATIONS THAT WILL MAKE YOU GROW. FIND PEOPLE WHO ARE OUTGOING AND SUCCESSFUL AND SPEND TIME WITH THEM.

Thanks a lot for your very useful and complete reply! I will write to you in pm!

Yeah provide more information about your life

What do you do everyday?
Are you happy with your life?
Etc

What specific examples can you give of freaking out with anxiety?

I'm still studying (I work part time and study part time) but in the last 3 years, I've been moving from place to place every 6 months or so (exchange semester, internships, courses, job) and I think it's a big factor in my anxiety problem... I don't have a real "home" yet (except for my parents house, but I haven't lived there in 3 years), I always carry my suitcase from one apartment to the other.

But I can say that I'm rather happy with my life: I like my job and I like what I study. It's just that I get really upset over little things: like if someone talks to me somewhat abruptly, I'm going to think about it again and again (sometimes, just a little criticism can make me cry). If I meet a group of new people, I feel very shy and uncomfortable. If I forget to buy something I need, I will constantly think about it until I finally get it... Those are just little examples but this accumulation of little things makes me nervous all the time.

As far as I remember, I've always had visible signs of anxiety: I always scratched myself, acted nervously, bit my nails etc, etc... Even as a child. 
I was the first of 4 children and always had a really bad relationship with my mom, who was extremely fussy and strict with me. I had quite bad eating disorders during my teenage years. 
All of this plays a role in the problem I guess. It's a little better now that I live on my own but the anxiety is still there: I always want to do everything perfectly and to please everyone. I don't know how to stop that because it would be a really deep change and I just don't know how and where to start...

(Sorry if my english is not very clear)

If you do some of the advice here and your problem persists (and if you can afford it) I would seriously consider counselling

You can shop around for the counselor that is right you and research what style would be best. Sometimes is not that counselling is bad, its just the counselor. Some counselors do free first session too. 

The voices in people head that judge us and create anxiety are often put there by our parents or people of strong influence when we were growing up. It may help to reflect on your childhood and think about whose voice is in your head and whether it is correct. I like vegabondsteve on youtube. I find that thinking about now/present has helped when I get anxious about past or present stuff - the book Power of Now was a good read. 

Thanks, I will watch his videos! I haven't found any counsellor who really helped me yet but I don't give up!
And you're right: those "voices in my head" definitely have something to do with my childhood... It's just hard to make them shut up :)

I also have been dealing with some very intense anxiety over the last two years. I also had some anxiety as a child but it didn't present itself as panic attacks or as a thought issue. When I got to college it became a lot more difficult to deal with, and I began to experience anxiety attacks, fearful thoughts, and some pretty intense derealization at times. Honestly what has helped me most is finding a therapist that can help to work through the issue and to help you to change your thoughts, and to begin to get into the habit of activities that can decrease the feelings... As you say exercise, diet, and meditation can help a little, or sometimes a lot. For me it got bad enough that I gave in to what the doctors were suggesting and tried medication, but after a few days of horrible side effects, I knew that I was right to trust my gut instincts from the start and stay unmedicated. For me, it's manageable. I would rather live with some anxiety than to live medicated. However, it has helped plenty of people, even if it is just a short-term solution. It's important to try as hard as you can to not let your anxiety control you, or to let it become something that, in your mind, defines you. It's really difficult to detach yourself from anxiety. I've noticed that over time I let it become part of my "story"..... Best of luck :) I'm always opening to talking about anxiety.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Hey! I also have the tendency to be an anxious person. I'm taking a positive psychology class this semester and it's given me some insightful information about how to deal with anxiety :). 

Sonya Lyubomirsky came up with the 40% Solution to happiness. She stated happiness is 50% temperment, 10% change in circumstance, and 40% intentional activities. These activities are things like investing in social connections, managing stress, learning to forgive, avoiding over thinking, and expressing gratitude. Gratitude is a big one because it can really change your life. I know it's changed mine. Scientifically proven (by Sonya) ways gratitude boosts happiness: promotes savoring of positive life experiences, boosts self-worth and self-esteem, helps people deal with trauma and stress, and helps build social bonds and strengthen relationships.

A really interesting study called Three Blessings or Three Good Things by Dr. Martin Seligman showed the impact gratitude can have. Here's a link to Dr. Seligman explaining the exercise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RT2vKMyIQwc&feature=youtu.be

Another great concept I like that helps with my anxiety is the concept of How You Can Do Your Best by Not Giving a Damn http://www.fulfillmentdaily.com/can-best-giving-damn/?utm_content=b...

One last thing :). Something was brought to light just today in class that has helped me gain more insight into managing my anxiety. People have Explanatory Styles. This is how we choose to rationalize bad events. There are three dimensions to this. 1. internal vs. external. This is referring to what we choose to see as the source of the event. Internal is blaming yourself and external is attributing the event to an outside source such as luck or fate. 2. stability vs. instability. Stability is seeing an event as something that "always" happens or has a long lasting, permanent pattern. Instability is viewing an event as a temporary upset and a singular event. 3. global vs. specific. Global is the view that an event will ruin the rest of your day/week/month/life and there's nothing you can do about it. Specific is the perspective that this negative event won't define you and you're life is still good. 

Sorry for the long read! Change your thoughts, change your world :)

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